Catholic Church Cleanses Desecrated Land in Neni

Dec 17, 2018

Parish Priest of St John's Cath Church, Neni, Rev Fr Charles Umeoji, leads the faithful to the home of family who desecrated the land

…As Woman Begs for Forgiveness

By Chioma Ndife

The Catholic Church in Neni Community, Anaocha LGA, Anambra State, headed by St. John's Parish Priest, has cleansed the land of Neni against desecration attracted upon it by Mrs. Susan Anaedu from Umueze Village who dug up the body of her 34 year old son from the grave, three days after the dust-to-dust rites had been performed for the deceased in line with the Catholic doctrine, reports Chioma Ndife.

Fides gathered that Neni Land was desecrated on January 8, 2018 after Mrs. Susan Anaedu, mother of the late Mr. Emeka Anaedu, alongside some prayer warriors who were imported to Neni from Enugu, exhumed the corpse of the deceased. The body was exhumed according to the deceased mother, after she was convinced by alleged religious scammers that they possessed the powers to bring back her son to life.

Fides also learnt that the exhumed corpse stayed with the prayer warriors for two days, while they prayed all through for the resurrection of the late Emeka.

The prayers however failed to bring back the deceased and the putrefying stench which almost sacked the villagers led to the reburial of the deceased in another grave.

The desecrated land was however cleansed on Thursday, December 6, by the Dean of Neni Deanery and Parish Priest of St. John's Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Charles Umeoji, after the community had agreed that the cleansing should be performed by the Church.

During the cleansing ceremony which commenced with a Rosary Procession from St John's Parish Neni to the Anaedu family home, the entire family of Anaedu apologized to the community and Church.

Fr. Umeoji who officiated at the cleansing Mass, prayed for forgiveness upon the family for what he described as an abominable act which their mother carried out with total strangers and lack of faith which the family exhibited.

Regretting that most people who witnessed the act kept mute, he emphasized the need for Christians to be firm, especially against evil.

He stressed the need for Catholics to follow the traditional prayers of the Church used by the apostles to perform signs and wonders, saying that such were still used by today's priests in the performance of miracles.

He maintained that it was important for people to accept the will of God at all times.

In his homily during the Eucharistic Celebration which was held in front of Anaedu's family house, Fr. Umeoji narrated how the Church learnt of the incident and events that followed it.

He interceded for the family and called on God to take its place, saying that the presence of the Holy Spirit enlightened, purified, and restored lost glories in any place where it dwelt.

The Catholic clergy called the attention of the faithful on the existence of false prophets and itemized the havoc they brought along with their prophecy. He cautioned them against patronizing the services of most prayer houses in search of solutions to their problems, saying that all that was needed for their salvation was embedded in the Catholic Church.

Fr. Umeoji disclosed that the threat from the prayer woman, who allegedly connived with the deceased's mother to engage in the act, directing him to stay away from the purification exercise, did not stop him from embarking on the exercise. He therefore urged Christians to live above the spirit of fear.

Before the Holy Mass commenced, all the family members of Lewis Anaedu had knelt down before the priest, Catholic faithful and the entire Neni Community and apologized for their action.

Apologizing to the community, the family head, Mr. Lewis Anaedu, acknowledged that what they did was an abominable act and a sin against the land. He asked for forgiveness from God for not totally accepting his will in their lives, as well as the community for the desecration which they brought upon the land.

Addressing Neni indigenes, the Traditional Ruler of the town, HRH Igwe, Damian Ezeani who was represented by Sir Augustine Emenike Ibeme commenced the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Charles Umeoji for his efforts in bringing solution to the abominable act.

He noted that the community had not witnessed such abominable act since his birth, and noted that the consensus reached at the council meeting was to carry out the cleansing process in a Christian manner without resorting to any tradition detrimental to human life.

Speaking to Fides, the Chairman of Umudunu Family Union of Umueze Village, Neni, Mr. Okechukwu Anakudo, said the incident which happened in their clan was a thing of shame which brought pains to their hearts.

He hoped that the cleansing exercise and prayer offered by to God in repentance had the capacity of stopping the wrath of God from descending upon the culprits.

The Catholic Clergy sprinkled holy water and threw incense all over the compound during the cleansing exercise that attracted a large crowd. 

Mrs Susan Anaedu who went against the community culture, 2nd left, kneels in contrition before the mass to cleanse the land

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